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Blog: Gigs Are Still Good

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As regular readers of all this will know I am currently GEARING UP for the release of the new Validators album Still Valid, which involves reaquainting myself with all SORTS of things I haven't done for ages like dealing with manufacturers, registering songs for PRS, getting together mailing lists and so on and so forth. With all that happening I thought I might as well go the whole hog and do another ROCK-related thing that I used to do ALL the time but haven't for ages: go to an actual GIG!

So it was that I found myself in The George Tavern last Friday night with Mr S Hewitt, there to see David Leach and The Thyme Machine. It was WEIRD being back at a PROPER gig - apart from Totally Acoustic most of my gig-going in recent years has EITHER been at The O2 OR to All-Dayers. I can't remember that last time I just went to A VENUE to see a regular SHOW, but it doesn't seem to have changed. AT ALL. The SPACE was still slightly too spacious, the LOO was still covered in Graffiti and the BEER was... well, the beer got a lot nicer after Steve sent the first one back!

We'd arrived just in time to see David Leach, who was a PRO as ever. He eschewed the PA system which as usual meant some battling with talkers which he did CALMLY and FIRMLY. "Lads!" he said, "we can hear you! Take it outside!" I've seen him approx 1,000,000 times so knew most of the words to most of the songs but was DELIGHTED with the new ones, especially the cover version (I can't remember what it was of - clearly that first beer wasn't putting me off!) which turned into a song ABOUT cover versions on ukeleles. It was ACE!

We went outside for a chat to chums various where, I seem to recall, I knocked over a TABLE. "That's how I roll" I said, and it was only when I got home that I realised I'd just left it there. Apologies to all concerned - there is a LINE between ROCK AND ROLL ANIMAL and RUDE and I fear I may have crossed it.

We popped back in the see the last couple of songs by the next band, Suggested Friends, who were GOOD but when did bands all get so ABLE? Back in my day a band as young as them would have broken all their strings, forgotten the words, fallen over the drum kit, never ended a song at the same time and rarely had all four members playing the same tune. Are they teaching COMPETENCE in sixth form or something? Also their last song (according to Steve, who checked on his phone) heavily referenced Harry Potter. This seems to happen a LOT nowadays but I guess it is the same as band's of MY generation referencing Star Wars.

Finally The Thyme Machine came on and were UTTERLY AMAZING. I think I've only seen them once, at Mr D Ransome's birthday, and remembered them being INCREDIBLE so was happy to find my memory was CORRECT. Mr K Foster, lead singer, has a GRATE manner on stage, calm yet in command, sort of innocent but confident, a bit like Frank Sidebottom but a Frank Sidebottom that you wouldn't mind living next to. ANYWAY he was him and the band were ENORMOUS. They had an (i estimate) 12 year old AXE HERO and, occasionally, an actual real PIANO which sounded BRILL. At one point Kriss asked the whole audience to hold hands and dance in a circle, so we DID, such was his PRESENCE.

It was one of those times when you remember WHAT it is about gigs that you love so much. I staggered out into the night afterwards SO full of joy that even the fact that the 339 bus wasn't due for over 30 minutes (according to TfL) did not dim my happiness. I went and got a CAB, setting off just in time to see the 339 leave my bus stop! It didn't matter - this was a BRILLIANT night. HOORAH!

posted 8/6/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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